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Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

The “Great Gettin’ Up Morning” as Described in an Unlikely Advent Hymn

Here in the heart of Advent, we are considering how prepared we are for the Lord to come again. Either He will come to us or we will go to Him, but either way we must prepare. In today’s post I’d like to consider some teachings about the Day of Judgment, from an Advent hymn that […] Read the rest of this entry »

Matrimony or Bust – Another Glimpse at the Why and How of Traditional Marriage’s Demise

All the way back in 1973, George Gilder published a book entitled Men and Marriage. He expanded and republished it in 1986. In his book, Gilder argued that our culture was marginalizing men, to its great peril. He articulated the critical role that marriage has in helping men focus their sexual energies in a creative and beneficial […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Fire Next Time – A Homily for the Second Sunday of Advent

An old spiritual says, God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, but the fire next time. The second reading in today’s Mass speaks to us of the “fire next time” and again reminds us of the need to be ready for the coming of the Lord. In this homily, I will focus on that second […] Read the rest of this entry »

All is Calm, All is Bright…Really? Maybe This Video Will Help

The video below was produced by the Archdiocese of Washington for our “Find the Perfect Gift” Christmas outreach. It is an attempt to refocus Catholics and non-Catholics on the truest and most perfect gift of Christmas, Jesus Christ. It also invites each of us to give the perfect gift, the gift of our very self to […] Read the rest of this entry »

Advent and the Drama of Light and Darkness

Here are the summary notes from a talk I gave tonight at the Parish of St. Columba, here in D.C. Many people think of Advent merely in terms of pre-Christmas time: office parties, shopping, decorating etc. But in the Church, Advent is more a penitential period, a time of preparation for both the Christmas Feast and the […] Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating the Spirituals: Sober but Serene on Themes of Judgment

I’ve often been impressed at the ability of the old African-American spirituals to treat serious subjects in a clear, memorable, and almost joyful way. This is true even of very weighty matters like sin and judgment.  And while we are here in the opening weeks of Advent, quite focused on the Second Coming of Jesus to […] Read the rest of this entry »

Who Is Isaiah and Why Is His Central Message So Critical Today?

During Advent, we read a lot from the Prophet Isaiah. Therefore, for my own meditation and yours, I offer the following reflection on Isaiah, the man and his message. Each of the issues with which he dealt is still with us to today, even though we live in a far more secular world than he ever could have […] Read the rest of this entry »

It’s a Wonder-filled Life: A Meditation on the Mystery and Unlikely Chances of Our Very Existence

Most of you have seen the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which airs so frequently at this time of year. More on that in a moment. But for now, the word “wonderful” is most commonly understood to mean “really great.” But the word “wonderful” actually means “filled with wonder.” Who among us can understand the incredible […] Read the rest of this entry »

Good Times for Dogs, Not So Good for Babies – A Reflection on the Perversity of Modern Culture

In moral decline, both personal and cultural, the problem is that not only do we desire what is evil, we also stop desiring that which is good and holy. At the heart of desiring what is evil (or what is good, but to excess), are pride, greed, lust, and gluttony. Sloth and envy are more involved in […] Read the rest of this entry »

In Times Like These You Need a Savior – A Homily for the First Sunday of Advent

The Gospel today surely announces a critical Advent theme: Watch! And while I want to comment primarily on the reading from Isaiah, the Gospel admonition certainly deserves some attention as well. For it is too often the case that many today hold the unbiblical notion that most, if not all, are going to Heaven. But […] Read the rest of this entry »

You Will Serve Somebody, The Only Question is “Whom?” As Seen and Heard in a Video

The video below features Mavis Staples and Johnny Lang. But they are singing the classic Bob Dylan song, “Serve Somebody.” The song is a sober reminder that no matter how big you or I may think we are, we have to remember that none of us is so powerful that, in the end, we won’t […] Read the rest of this entry »

Hearts Aloft! A Reflection on our Mystical Transport to Heaven in Every Mass

Before November ends and our consideration of the four last things (death, judgement, Heaven, and Hell) gives way to Advent preparations for the the great Second Coming that ushers in those things definitively,  let us turn our attention to a short, often-overlooked summons to Heaven that takes place in every Mass. It takes place in […] Read the rest of this entry »